University of Kentucky employees may be thinking more about learning to use the new SAP software being implemented in the Integrated Resource Information Systems (IRIS) Project and less about some of the benefits of the new system. While a project of this magnitude does cause some anxiety about change and challenges, it also offers some much-needed improvements for the university workforce.
Single Sign-on. In the current mainframe environment, employees must log on separately to each system they use to do their jobs. That is going to change with IRIS implementation. End-users will sign on one time through a single point of entry. Then they will be able to access information and do transactions in the module areas where they have authority to view or enter data.
And just how is Single Sign-on accomplished? At UK, this involves getting the Active Directory and the SAP Enterprise Portal to work together. IRIS Project and Information Technology employees have already achieved successful Single Sign-on capability in a test environment.
System-generated ID Numbers. When the Human Resources/Payroll module goes live in 2006, social security numbers will no longer be the primary identifiers for UK employees. Each employee instead will have a unique eight-digit number. With the growing concerns about privacy, misuse of the social security number, and identity theft, this change is a major improvement for UK. Social security numbers will still be collected and used for required purposes (such as state and federal tax information).
The change will be part of the roll-out of the new payroll system in 2006. Employees will not need to know their numbers, since the system allows searching on a combination of name and date of birth, or social security number. If an employee is also a student at UK, the employee and student number will be the same.
For the future, fewer forms, more self-service. Not all improvements will come in Phase 1 of the IRIS Project, which will continue through much of 2006. In Phase 2 and Phase 3, however, the IRIS Team will continue to carry out major project objectives, such as self-service for employees. Self-service will enable employees to update personal data (such as address information or tax exemptions) electronically. They also will be able to view earning statements online and may elect to discontinue the paper copies. Employee Benefits processing and Open Enrollment will take on a different look altogether, as new hires and current employees will select or change their benefits electronically.